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Fuel economy is definitely a primary driving factor. I'd say another factor is performance. More gears lets you stay in the power band for a greater percentage of time.

Coupled with a ~400 lbs weight savings, the 3rd-gen MDX is quicker and considerably more fuel efficient, when compared to the 2nd-gen.

2nd-gen MDX - 4,669 lbs - 300 hp @ 6,000 RPM, 275 lb-ft @ 5,000 RPM
128.5072 hp per ton
117.7982 lb-ft per ton

3rd-gen MDX - 4,268 lbs - 290 hp @ 6,200 RPM, 267 lb-ft @ 4,500 RPM
135.8950 hp per ton
125.1172 lb-ft per ton
Another reason why performance is better with more gears is the shorter gear ratios. Same engine with same horsepower and torque will see improvement in 0-60 acceleration just by adding a transmission with more gears because of the shorter gear ratio.

This is why 2nd gen FX35 with 7 speed is faster 0-60 then 1st gen FX45 with 5 speed even though the 45 is a 4.5l v8 while 35 is 3.5l v6.
 

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2017 MDX rough shifts 1st to 2nd

I just had two Lexus vehicles (RX450 SUV and GS350 sedan) and was very impressed with the quality and reliability. I then switched over to an Infiniti Q50 and the Acura SUV.

I love everything about my 2017 MDX SH-AWD Technology, but the rough shift from 1st to 2nd is maddening and unacceptable. I should have picked up on this issue during my test drives, but alas I missed it. This is my first Acura and could be my last if they don't issue a TSB soon.

Is any dealership in the Atlanta area willing to investigate this issue? I know Jackson Acura in Roswell is not.
 

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I have a 2017 MDX Nav and have been experiencing similar problems with a jerking shift between 1-2. I even had them "relearn" the car for a day and when I got it back it had improved very very slightly but it is still very noticeable. One service tech said that it would get better when the car warms up, which is frustrating when you pay $60k and most of my driving are short commutes. You'd expect the performance to be better than a 10 year old clunker that needs to warm up. Also having constant problems with car doors not automatically locking when leaving the vehicle, driver's seat memory position not always working. I had a new battery put in and then the whole system reset and still having problems. I had one issue where I would unlock the car with the driver's handle, open a rear door and close it, then when I got in the seat memory would never work. When the tech put it through their computer he said that there is nothing wrong, when obviously there was. Every time Acura said "this is normal". I won't be buying another Acura product if all this is normal.
 

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Sorry to hear. We know that line very well (as you can see in my avatar). Have you tried other dealerships as well? Sometimes the quality of them differ drastically (I personally sometimes drive 23 miles to the one that actually tries to fix the problems vs going to the one 3 miles away). The 2017 seems to be a finicky year, as it introduced a slew of new issues because of the introduction of new standard features (I, too, experienced the no automatic locking, seat position issues, and even remote start not functioning when I drove a 2017 loaner) and also was right before the year that people considered the transmission to be much better than before.
 

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On my Feb 2018 built 2018 Advance AWD, the initial couple of shifts can be an issue when in normal or comfort mode. In Sport mode, it's much better. Once warmed up it's not an issue in any mode. I have called client relations and advised them to issue an update to have the 2018 year do the same as 2019 i.e. start in 2nd gear wherever possible, at least that part they can recreate in SW very easily. On the two test drives I took with their Master tech to diagnose, he said Acura only considers it an issue if the transmission is jerky after warming up to 120F and not below. Regardless they did add a fix for 2019 model year so they should do what they can for us as well. Issue is that atleast for me it's very very hard to recreate at the dealership even though its 3 miles away since the car has warmed up and the jerkiness is mostly gone by then. I left it overnight but of course they could not recreate it. It also varies per car as a 2018 tech loaner I had during a recall fix seemed to be slightly better but it did have a lot more miles on it. Mine seems to have gotten a bit better after a recent oil change with full synthetic oil though it may be just placebo since engine oil shouldn't impact this.
 

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Been noticing this issue (jerky shift 1-2) more often now. I have a 2017 Tech. i thought the gear shift wasnt smooth in the beginning but then the dealer told give it a few months. I did not notice it much after 4-5 months of ownership.
But, of late (2 years into ownership) - I hate the feeling; especially if its from a complete stop.

Had the dealer look at it ; they said no fault codes but did a reset so it can relearn. 1 week into this relearning - it seems worse.

I am planning to go to the dealer. they just keep saying that it is normal with all 2016s and 2017s. how can this be normal.

Anyone had luck pursuing similar issues with the dealer.
 

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On my 2018 built in Feb 2018, it's notchy for the first 2-3 shifts within a mile or two of driving, after that it is very smooth whether up or downshifting. I also think it's gear 2-3 and not 1-2 that is actually a bit jerky when cold. My wife's 2013 A6's ZF8 does that too sometimes when cold. Not sure if the 2019 improvements help with cold shifts as well, if so they should atleast give us the software side of the upgrade to make things better or just recall all of these and fit the new updated transmissions in them.
 

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2017 AWD tech here. I had the cooler, had the "clunk" issue and had it removed. Car drove a *little better and then at about 21000 miles started to demonstrate rough shift. Took it to the dealer once, they said they topped of the tranny fluid, tested it and all was good. No it wasn't. Took it back and rode with the Tech and reproduced the "bang" it had in early upshifts. They captured it on tape sent it to Acura and was told this was "normal" I told the svc manager to kindly keep the car until they had it fixed and that the shifting clearly was not normal or acceptable (told him to ask the tech that rode with me). They asked me if I wanted a new tranny, I said I just want one that works. They completely emptied the fluid, flushed and cleaned the tranny and set mode to re-learn. So far it has been excellent; I'd say just like the 2019 loaner I had. The mileage is even better so something must have been changed. Regardless, good luck with yours...I have had a real rough time with my ZF experience and wouldn't ever do it again!
 

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I purchased a 2017 certified MDX SH-AWD base model in late May. There was a chirping noise that was faint but noticeable and I was able to have it addressed thanks to this forum and my subsequent awareness of TSB 16-008. That fixed the problem so thank you all! Perhaps I'm just looking for issues here, especially with all of the bad press on the 9-speed. It feels like when leaving a red light, if I give the car a slight press of the gas pedal, the RPMs rev up without it doing much of anything until it shifts into 2nd and then 3rd. My wife is not a car guru by any means and she said the first time she drove it, the care felt "slow". Obviously this is not a slow car. I just think this poor throttle response feel is due to the way the transmission works through the first few gears. I know that only early 2017 models supposedly had transmission issues so I called Acura customer care and confirmed with the VIN that my care was built on 8/24/16. How can I confirm whether my VIN would be in the series of 2017 that were affected?

I'm bringing the car in tomorrow for service. Would it make sense for them to do a reboot of the learning system for the transmission and how would I ask them to do that?

I see service bulletins that apply to the transmission for the 2016. Are there any for the 2017?

The last time I had it in and mentioned this, the technician said he could see no issue. Is there anything else I can specifically point them towards?
 

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ask for a software update to see if it helps. the 2019 does drive much smoother and more eager to accelerate from rest. my 2017 feels less jerky after the software update.
 

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ask for a software update to see if it helps. the 2019 does drive much smoother and more eager to accelerate from rest. my 2017 feels less jerky after the software update.
I'm hoping the loaner I get tomorrow is also an MDX so that I can compare. It's good to know that the update helped your 2017.

When I did this last time they claimed that unless there was an error code they couldn't just throw TSB's at it. Is there a specific software update I can point them towards?
 

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Have you tried in Sport mode to see if it has an effect in the take off from the light?
Are you referring to the IDS selector which can go between "comfort", "normal", and sport?

Or are you referring to pressing the D button twice on the transmission to go into "S" (sequential) mode?
 

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Are you referring to the IDS selector which can go between "comfort", "normal", and sport?

Or are you referring to pressing the D button twice on the transmission to go into "S" (sequential) mode?
Hi,

I am entering this response into a few other posts too as it seems there are multiple threads on this topic.
I have a 2017 MDX and from the time I picked it up until now, I experienced a hard or "jerky" shift between 1st and 2nd gear. I took it into my dealership for 2 years, explaining the problem but was told that was how it was. They did do a "re-learn" which was supposed to help the car adapt to my driving but this did little to elevate the problem. I knew that I wasn't dreaming because they once gave me a curtesy 2018 MDX and if shifted perfectly.
Eventually I spoke to the Service Manager and he said that they performed a "Running software update" and this completely fixed the problem. He said that the technician would only find out about this update if they were looking for specific things otherwise they wouldn't be alerted to it. Anyways, after driving the car now I can tell you that it shifts perfectly between 1st and 2nd gears and I am completely happy.
 

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There is a rough shift on my 2017 MDX, mostly 1-2 shift. For up shift 1-2 , it happens when I gently apply gas pedal from stop. But if I apply gas very slow or fast, the shift is OK. For down shift 2-1, it happens when I apply brake very slowly before full stop of the car.
I've put 12k miles, at first I think the shift was generally smooth. I know the transmission is learning to adapt to the driver. Is it learning bad?
There is a rough shift on my 2017 MDX, mostly 1-2 shift. For up shift 1-2 , it happens when I gently apply gas pedal from stop. But if I apply gas very slow or fast, the shift is OK. For down shift 2-1, it happens when I apply brake very slowly before full stop of the car.
I've put 12k miles, at first I think the shift was generally smooth. I know the transmission is learning to adapt to the driver. Is it learning bad?
Mine is rough off the line comfort mode, but seems ok in normal mode? Just got mine with 15k miles. Worried! Has anyone had luck with the advise about the update? "Ask the dealership to update the software per TSB 17-034"??
 
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